L.A. NAACP President Leon Jenkins Steps Down Over Sterling Award

Image: Leon Jenkins
Leon Jenkins, president of the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP, at a news conference in Culver City, Calif. on April 28. Nick Ut / AP

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The president of the local NAACP chapter resigned Thursday amid the backlash over its since-rescinded plans to give a lifetime achievement award to Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.

"The legacy, history and reputation of the NAACP is more important to me than the presidency," Leon Jenkins, president of the Los Angeles chapter, said in a brief statement late Thursday.

Jenkins said he made his decision to "separate the Los Angeles NAACP and the NAACP from the negative exposure I have caused the NAACP."

Leon Jenkins at a news conference Monday where he announced that the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP was rescinding a lifetime achievement award for Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.Nick Ut / AP

Jenkins and his chapter of the national civil rights organization have been under fierce scrutiny since it emerged that it was to have given its highest honor to Sterling, whom the National Basketball Association banned for life after he was taped making racially offensive comments.

The organization canceled the honor Monday.

Jenkins' resignation comes as a committee of NBA owners met Thursday to figure out a way to force Sterling to sell the Clippers.

— M. Alex Johnson